Last weekend saw National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in Washington. This event was a chance for people to drop off their old and unused prescription drugs. The program was begun by The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a way to make sure that old prescription drugs do not end up in the wrong hand.
When most people stop taking a prescription, they pills will stay in their medicine cabinets; sometimes for several years. Eventually, they will find their way into the trash. This is unless, someone takes them first. Medicine cabinets are one of the top ways young people get access to prescription drug that can be abused. Even if the drugs are expired, they can still be dangerous. Throwing them in the trash can also lead abuse. Addicts may go through the trash looking for the telltale orange bottles or children could find them and mistake them for candy.
The safest way to dispose of prescription drugs is to turn them in. Not only are people protecting their families from abuse, they are also protecting themselves. A person can be accused of prescription drug fraud or dealing if they are found with large quantities of prescription drugs. While there are many health problems that would lead someone to have multiple pain medications, discarding the ones that do not work or are expired is a good way to protect yourself from any accusations.
Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in the U.S. and prescription drug take back day is a smart way to help people get rid of their old drugs without endangering anyone else. The program seems to be successful too. In 2010, 500 pounds of drugs were collected during the event. Hopefully the government will use this to find other ways to help people stop drug crimes before they start.